with Kale and Mozzarella
Oozy, bubbly baked lasagna is everyone's favorite, but all that layering and time in the oven can make it a drag to put together. For a quicker, easier variation, we've swapped the lasagna noodles for fusilli. The short and springy pasta gets tossed with usual suspects like ground beef, mozzarella, and tomatoes, as well as kale, which is a welcome, healthful addition. Baked until golden and crisp, it's got all the personality of the classic, but with no assembly required.
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Wash and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of water with a large pinch of salt to a boil. Halve, peel, and finely chop onion. Mince garlic. Remove and discard kale ribs and stems, then roughly chop leaves. Tear mozzarella cheese into small pieces.
Add fusilli to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally. After 6 minutes, add kale to pot. Continue cooking until pasta is al dente and kale is tender, 9-11 minutes overall. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add beef, garlic, oregano, and as many chili flakes as you like. Cook, breaking up meat into pieces, until browned and no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss together fusilli and kale, beef mixture, crushed tomatoes, reserved pasta water, and half the mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat broiler to high or oven to 500 degrees. Transfer mixture to a lightly-oiled baking dish (ours is 9”x13”) and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
Broil the topped fusilli mixture until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes, and serve.